February 7th 2009

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Articles from this issue:

EDITORIAL: Where will President Obama take America?

GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS: Can Australia avoid an economic depression?

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Australia should brace itself for worse to come

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM: Blatant political bias in human rights body

JUDICIARY: High Court nominee's gay rights, abortion activism

GLOBAL TERRORISM: The great lie of 'home-grown' terrorism

QUARANTINE: Shake-up for Australia's quarantine system

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS: Being smart about using soft power

MEDIA: What to make of the Obama cult

OPINION: Is there any point to suffering?

CIVILISATION: Created equal: how Christianity shaped the West

OPINION: Legislative change could help first home-buyers

Should democracy always have the last word? (letter)

Deserted by the Liberals? (letter)

A future for News Weekly (letter)

FORUM: Free markets and libertarianism

CINEMA: Slumdog Millionaire - Indian orphan tale a box-office hit

BOOKS: ENOUGH: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life, by John C. Bogle

BOOKS: THE WHITE WAR: Life and Death on the Italian Front 1915-1919, by Mark Thompson,

Books promotion page

Should democracy always have the last word? (letter)

by Matthew Buckley

News Weekly, February 7, 2009

I must disagree with John Elsegood's assertion ("US battle to preserve traditional marriage", News Weekly, December 6, 2008) that the state referendums in America rejecting same-sex "marriage" are a "copybook example of democracy working".

The concept of right and wrong is antecedent to democracy (or to any form of government), not something one is free to determine by vote.

While in our situation we unfortunately have to do our best in defeating such measures lest a bad situation worsens, it is disastrous to use as an argument the claim that this is "democracy at work".

It is in fact tyranny of the majority.

What if the vote had gone the other way, which it did on other key moral issues in some of the other American states?

Would we simply accept this as "democracy at work" or what it really is: the doctrine of popular sovereignty?

While deciding such things in this fashion has become a way of life for us, we should never confuse this with genuine democracy founded on the immutable principles of natural law.

Matthew Buckley,
Brisbane, Qld

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